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February 13, 2012

Mike Krzyzewski

MIKE FINN:  We're now joined by Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.  I understand, coach, that happy birthday salutations to you are deserved today.  We'll go straight to questions.

Q.  The game that you got from Miles Plumlee, when an upperclassman, particularly a senior, has a game like that as you begin to come down the stretch, does that have a significant impact on the rest of the team when one of your older players does that, sort of leads the way?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, it would be significant if anybody did it.  When a senior does it, it means he has a sense of urgency.  At least it shows up that way.  The end is coming near.  This is his last time.  Sometimes for a senior that can motivate a guy to do a little bit more, do what he's capable of doing.  With some kids it gets them a little bit nervous.
Hopefully what happened with Miles, he can now put it together.  We don't expect him to get 22 rebounds a game.  The fact he got that many, and they were two‑handed rebounds, and he pursued the ball, hopefully that's something he can do at a higher level than he's done for the rest of the year.

Q.  On balance has he had the kind of productive season that you would like?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  You want every kid to play better.  But they've done a good job.  Miles has done a good job.  It's just that he did an exceptional job on Saturday.
But he's had a good season.  We're 21‑4, so our kids have had a good season and they've all contributed to it.  They can be better.  That's what we're trying to do.

Q.  Wanted to see your thoughts on NC State, what you thought of their start so far?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, they've done an excellent job.  They've kept their team together well so they kind of know one another.  Their starting five is balanced.  They're well‑used, well‑coached offensively and defensively.  I think they've earned everything that they've gotten.  I think they're an NCAA team, will be tough down the stretch for people.

Q.  After the Maryland game you mentioned that you thought the team may have been feeling some pressure playing at home, contributing to its slow start.  I hope this makes sense, but do you almost see this as a good sign, maybe being too casual?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  I've never felt they were too casual ever.  We wouldn't have won 21 games being casual.
Again, the four years preceding this team, the record here was 65‑2.  A team can feel some pressure, like you have to win.  I don't know that's the case, but I think there's probably something to that.
I thought in the second half against Maryland, we were looser, we were talking more.  Our guys have done an outstanding job.  They care.  But sometimes you can care individually and forget about the talk that you have to have to be a collective unit.
I think that's happened a little bit at home.  So hopefully we can keep going in a positive direction here.

Q.  You talked about the fact this team has accomplished so much to get to 21 wins, but it's been a really odd situation with different guys stepping up, not really anybody being very consistently a strong player like Nolan was last year.  Has it been more difficult for you when you don't know one night if it's going to be Andre or Ryan or Seth, a different two or three guys every night?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, you'd rather have it more stable.  Every team in the country is somewhat inconsistent.  That's why every team in the country loses games.  Even some of the great players in our country have a bad game.
With our team, we're lucky enough that enough guys have done a good job, and we've done a good job in parts of a lot of games to produce the record we have with the schedule that we have.
Really overall I think these kids have done an unbelievable job, coming from the base that they had.  None of them were star players for us last year.  They certainly Singler or Smith or Scheyer.  Hopefully near the end some of them will have reached that plateau, be at that point where they can do that.

Q.  I know you've talked in the past how basketball is a streaky game.  I was thinking specifically of Seth being a guy that had a bad streak for two or three weeks where his shot wasn't falling.  He seems to have come out of that and played well now.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  He's playing very well.  The other thing with Seth, we've used him in multiple roles.  Sometimes when you switch him like that, there's a little bit that can hurt a kid.
Again, what the team needs sometimes puts that young man in a position where he's not as comfortable.  So we've had a little bit more stability with the perimeter and offense really playing outstanding basketball.  Tyler has given us good leadership.  So the people around him have been stable, and that helps him.
MIKE FINN:  Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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